By Michael Weyer
I hadn't meant to do this but the "Elseworlds" event got me thinking and suddenly hit by this. Consider it a taste of things to come
Earth-1. Los Angeles. The Day of the Dusting
The chaos of the outside could be heard across the West Coast. Los Angeles was never a calm city on the best of days. When half of the population turns into dust, it turned the city into a madhouse. Fires were covering many buildings with cars crashed all over. The police were hard pressed to contain the chaos with half of their own people gone. The same was true for emergency workers, firemen and more. Looting abounded although not as severe as one might expect. Most people were too shaken by all this loss and sudden vanishing to even care about robbery.
Amenadiel had seen many a horrific sight in his time. He'd been at Sodom and Gomorrah after all. But this was beyond even him. He could feel the effects across the entire world. This was more than just a mass death or such. This was a calamity on a cosmic level unheard of. He was sure even the Silver City was trembling under the weight of it all.
As he'd expected, Lux was a bit of a mess when he entered. Tables and chairs were overthrown, showing the effects when the "Dusting" had hit the club. All that could be heard was the playing of a piano and the soft singing.
"World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed, Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent in the right, right.." The handsome dark-haired man paused to take a long sip from the large glass atop the piano before going back. He was clad in a very nice suit but it showed a bit more wear than he'd usually allow it to have. His eyes seemed bleary as if somehow the weight of the world was upon his shoulders. In a way, it might have been. "It's the end of the world as we know it….It's the end of the world as we know it…" He saw the black-skinned man stepping in and barely paused. "It's the end of the world as we know it…and I feel fine…"
"Lucifer," Amenadiel stated. "You know what's happened."
"No, brother, I've spent the last seven hours with my fingers stuck in my ears humming Coldplay songs." Lucifer Morningstar scoffed as he took another drink. "Rather hard to miss half your clientele turning into dust in the middle of the room."
He got up, shaking a bit to show this was not the first bottle he'd imbued in the last several hours. He managed to get to the bar to pour another glass which he offered to Amenadiel. He was mildly surprised his brother actually took it to down half of the glass in one go. "That bad, eh?"
"It's chaos," Amenadiel stated. "Absolute chaos up and down the entire universe."
"Not just Earth?" Lucifer sighed.
"You know we don't have that much influence on other worlds but from what I've gathered, their own pantheons have been thrown into much the same situation."
"Well, doesn't take much to get them that fussy, so high and mighty..."
Amenadiel looked to him. "Have you…heard from Linda?"
Lucifer nodded slowly. "One of her co-workers answered the phone. She…." He didn't finish and Amenadiel closed his eyes in pain. "Maze too." Amenadiel's eyes snapped open in shock at that. Lucifer was busy taking a long drink. "I know, a bit surprised myself. Never saw it coming."
"How are you so calm?"
"What, I should strip off my clothes and run down the street screaming? I've done that a thousand times on a good night." Lucifer took another drink. "Besides, I had to see to the detective."
"Chloe?" Amenadiel asked. "She's not…"
"No. Not her. But her…daughter. And Dan."
Amenadiel sucked in a long breath. "Oh my…"
"Trixie went right in front of her. At least, that's what I got in between heaves of hysterical sobbing and preventing her from indulging in a bottle and then finishing it off with her service revolver. Dan was on duty when it happened."
That he was using Dan's name and not the usual "Detective Douche" told Amenadiel how seriously Lucifer was taking this. "I...didn't even realize..."
Lucifer placed the glass on the piano as he plinked on the keys. "I was with her for some time until she finally cried herself to sleep. Flew back here and thought I'd indulge in a pick me up before heading back."
"You flew? In the open?"
Lucifer smirked. "It's Los Angeles in the end times, brother, who's going to notice?" Lucifer took another swig "Let me guess, Dad decided floods were passé and went for another route?"
Amenadiel looked down. "This wasn't Father. It was…something else."
"Huh." Lucifer tapped on the keys. "So I suppose you're here to convince me to go back to Hell? I imagine they must be overwhelmed by now."
Amenadiel shook his head. "No. No one who vanished is there. Or in the Silver City."
The glass froze half-way to Lucifer's lips. "What?" He set it down as he frowned. "That's impossible."
"But true," his brother stated. "The souls of those who have passed on from accidents and such caused by the vanishings have crossed over. But not those who turned to dust. Which is proof this is an event most unnatural."
Lucifer's eyes narrowed. "Someone stole the Detective's offspring away? And took away one of my best allies?" He stood up. "Well, then. I know what to do. First, a shower and shave. Then check back with Chloe. Then, try to find out who's responsible for this."
"And when you do?"
"Why, I do what I do best, brother." Lucifer's eyes flashed red. "I punish."
The elevator dinged as Chloe Decker stepped out of it. She was clad in her usual jeans and jacket over a light shirt, her blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. Even off duty, she projected the aura of a cop. She walked into the large loft to take in Lucifer sitting at his piano. He smiled brightly, his suit as immaculate as ever. "Detective! How lovely of you to drop in!"
"Hope I'm not interrupting," Chloe stated. "I wasn't sure if you had…company."
"Even if I did, you're always welcome," Lucifer said. It was the usual banter but an onlooker could tell there was a tension not there before. "What brings you by?"
Chloe sighed. "I thought we still had a lot of air to clear."
"It's Los Angeles, Detective, the air is never clear."
"You know what I mean." Chloe sat across from him. "Look, finding out you're….you…was a lot to take in. I know, we kept our distance for a bit but I just…" She brushed at her hair. "I get you're not what the stories say. You're not this truly evil monster…"
"Blame it on dear old Dad, making me sound even worse."
Chloe continued. "It was hard to take. Not to mention this meant I've had my daughter hanging out with a literal demon for a while…"
"Oh, come, Maze loves the little offspring." Lucifer sipped his drink. "And both seem okay since that nasty…incident a bit back."
"Which you helped me with." Chloe looked at him carefully. "I was on the verge of eating my gun when you stopped me. You got me to handle it and hang on until Trixie could be brought back. Whatever you are, whatever else you've done..You saved me. Again."
"Now don't go making a saint out of me," Lucifer interjected. "Trust me, those are some truly annoying prats, damn dull folks. I am anything but that."
Chloe couldn't help but smile at his obvious joking. She came forward, putting a hand on his own. "The point is…I trust you. I always did, despite everything. Knowing the truth is…wild, yes. but I can handle it. All of it."
Lucifer looked at the hand, then back up at her, his face somber. "My world is very, very dangerous, Detective."
"I'm a big girl."
"Maybe not enough."
"That's my choice," she said as he came closer to him
A loud ding made them both jump back as Lucifer rolled his eyes. "I'm grateful you're actually using the elevator, brother but…" He stopped as he turned to take in the figure sauntering into the loft. He was a tall man with a reedy face, dressed in a suit that was head to toe bright red. His lips were curved into a smirk as he took in a startled Lucifer. "How the mighty have fallen," he stated in a cool and oily voice.
Lucifer's eyes narrowed. "What in the name of my domain are you doing here?" The venom in his voice instantly told Chloe whoever this newcomer was, he was not a friend.
"What, I can't drop by?"
"Not since I made it quite clear you're not welcomed here. You know the rules."
"You're quoting rules? You really have changed."
Chloe couldn't help but shiver at the way the figure took her in. She was used to lecherous gazes as a former actress, a cop and working with Lucifer for three years. But the sheer venom from this man was a bizarre combination of disgust and desire. "Is this one of your…brothers?"
"More a distant cousin," Lucifer snapped. "You know every single bad story about me? That I'm pure evil, that I barter souls, cheat people and relish in the torture of the damned?" He nodded to the figure. "He's the living embodiment of every one of them."
The man just nodded as if touched by a compliment. "What are you doing here, Mephisto?" Lucifer pressed. "Make it fast before I run out of patience."
"Now, now, Morningstar, don't be so testy." Mephisto calmly walked around the piano, placing a finger on it. As it ran along the varnish, a hissing went out as if his mere touch burned it. Chloe instinctively stepped back as Lucifer bristled. "If it wasn't for my contribution, half this planet would still be clouds of dust."
Lucifer frowned. "That was you?"
"No. But as I said, I had a hand in fixing things. Couldn't lose all those souls, after all." He smirked at Lucifer. "Ah, Morningstar, it's been too long since we had a good old-fashioned binge together. Of course, that was long before you stopped having fun."
"I'll have you know, I have more than my share," Lucifer stated. "Without your cheap tricks."
"Cheap?" The man's eyes literally flared yellow. "At least I actually care about my deals. I don't go for your pathetic 'deepest desire' bit. I don't cling to some sort of old memories of Heaven or still being a good being."
"Because you never were," Lucifer snapped. "Why else did you get kicked out into your own dimension? Because you couldn't cut it in this one. Me and Dad never saw eye to eye but him giving you the boot was one thing I will always be grateful to him for."
"At least I'm still myself," Mephisto remarked. "Not the former Prince of Darkness who's mooning over some human," he waved at Chloe. "And actually caring for her daughter."
Lucifer sighed. "We can stand here all century reminding ourselves just how much we utterly despise each other, Mephisto but how about we cut the chit-chat?" He sipped his drink. "You lose someone from your realm to here?"
"No, Mephisto replied. "Not since that little….issue in 1944. No, Lucifer, I'm here to say…you need to get your house back in order."
Lucifer made an epic eye roll. "Oh, Dad…Now you're on the bandwagon? You want me to go back to ruling Hell? Maybe you should check in with your own place first."
Mephisto glared at him. "You must have felt it, Lucifer. The changes to this reality. It's the same as mine. Things were shifted, the cosmic forces unbalanced. Even I have had to adapt." He leaned in. "The point is that things have changed massively. And there are more changes coming. They'll shake everything and that includes your Hell."
"There's more than one?" Chloe blurted.
"Each reality has its own," Lucifer said as if this was obvious knowledge. "I ran mine rather well and frankly, I'm more than happy to let it keep going on its own."
Chloe rubbed her temples. "I don't believe this. You're talking about alternate realities? Other Earths?"
"Oh, they exist," Mephisto said. "A world where, say, your dad is alive and you're still an actress and another where Lucifer is where he belongs."
"New Year's Eve at the Playboy Mansion? I can get behind that."
Mephisto leaned in to hiss at him. "Lucifer…Something is coming. Something huge that can undo at least one reality. At least one has to endure the prophecy of the Blackest Night."
Lucifer snorted. "You of all people buy into that?"
Mephisto glared at him. "Unlike you, I'm closely tied to the magic of my world as well as the cosmic powers. I do believe it, Lucifer. I don't know which reality it will hit but it will. The dead will rise. Frankly, I don't want it to be in my domain and I'm pretty sure you don't want it in yours."
Lucifer was quiet before glaring up at the other man with a set expression. "Thanks so much for the advice, happy to have seen you again, don't let the door hit you on the way out."
"I'm not finished…"
"Mephisto, any minute now, a dozen archangels are going to show up ready to force you out of this reality. Personally, I'd enjoy the sight but it's hell cleaning up after them."
Mephisto glared at him before backing up. "Mark me, Lucifer…"
"No, thanks, done the tattoos already, so rather unsightly and a bitch to remove."
Lucifer shook his head. "I said my piece, Lucifer. Just know that if it happens…I warned you." He backed into the elevator which slowly shut.
Chloe turned to Lucifer. "What was that?"
Lucifer was quiet as he strummed his fingers on the piano's top. "Normally, with Mephisto, the one honest thing you can count on is that he's always lying."
"Except this time…I do believe he was telling the truth." Lucifer took a sip from his glass. "And that, dear Detective, should be scaring the absolute living my former home out of you."
Chloe hadn't been part of this Devil's strange world. But she knew Lucifer never lied. Which meant if he was scared about this…she should be too.
They stood together, the two bald figures. One was huge, nearly twenty feet tall, his eyes pure white, his head large with robes drifting around him. The other had darker skin, his uniform more elaborate with a long cape and a huge metallic collar. Strange markings covered his face as he and the other figure gazed at the planet before them. The sun was peeking over the corner of the moon, the remains of the large alien city providing an odd backdrop behind them. The chill of space meant nothing to them and despite the vacuum, each was able to speak clearly.
"You should not be here," the larger figure stated in a calm tone. "We have our rules."
"I am aware," the other figure stated in his own cool tone. "I would not wish to be here myself. Yet the circumstances of what occurred demanded that one of us…study the source."
Uatu the Watcher craned his head to study the figure known as the Monitor. "Only to study?"
The Monitor stiffened a bit. "You suggest otherwise?"
"I am aware that unlike my people, your kind have no problem interfering in the events of the worlds you observe." Uatu studied the Monitor. "You in particular have a…reputation."
"Not unearned," the Monitor admitted. "Indeed, I had been considering a…severe action in an attempt to correct inconsistencies in the Multi-verse."
"A dangerous move. Your brothers would not agree."
"They would not," the Monitor acknowledged. "However, the events brought about by Thanos and his actions have forced me to reconsider those plans. It has brought to light that the barriers between our realities are not as strong as they once were."
"Indeed," the Watcher replied. "We have felt it as well. What were once strong and strict barriers have become something…in flux." He craned his head toward the Monitor. "But that is not the only thing that concerns you. You worry that…the One…might be awakened."
"The others don't believe it," the Monitor stated. "Many consider him nothing but a myth. Others refuse to see it." He gazed upward at Uatu. "I do. And I believe you do as well." He looked down at Earth, studying how it looked so much like the one he knew yet also different. "The countdown has begun, Uatu. How long it lasts, I cannot say. But once it's started, nothing can stop its end."
"I am aware," the Watcher replied. "But you know our vow. You know I will do nothing to take part in what is coming. Neither to prevent it or to aid those in its path."
The Monitor scoffed. "You Watchers…So much power and you do nothing with it."
"We did, once," Uatu flatly stated. "And we saw the price paid for that. As you did yourselves."
The Monitor sighed. "Very true." He looked back up at the other being. "But you and I, Uatu…we are not as of the rest of our kind. We know the strength these humans have. In my worlds and your own. We know that this small, seemingly insignificant planet, in any reality, is the cornerstone the multiverse revolves around." He waved a hand toward it. "Remove it…and all of existence will crumble. Is that not worth breaking your vow to defend it?"
The Watcher was quiet before speaking. "I will see to my reality, Monitor. You may see to your own. What comes shall come, Mar Novu. We cannot stop it."
"Really?" The other man raised an eyebrow. "You can stand here and just let what is to happen occur?"
"Worlds shall live. Worlds shall die. And the multiverse will never be the same." Uatu looked back down at Novu. "Our task is to watch and monitor it all."
"And what good is that when there is no one left to know what we have observed?"
The Watcher was as silent as space itself. With a sigh, the Monitor touched his gauntlet and vanished in a flash of light. The Watcher fixed his gaze back upon Earth and did his best to ignore a rare sense of foreboding from the words of his counterpart.
Lips lined in red lipstick accepted the dark liquid from the ceramic cup. The woman was clad in a classic Victorian-styled purple dress that fit her well. A white shirt stuck out from the top of it, showing a nice collar around her throat marked with a gold brooch. Her dark hair was done up in a bun and she sat cross-legged in the lab, one booted foot tapping on the ground. An umbrella was folded next to her as the waited patiently by the table.
She felt it first. A charge of static energy in the air and then a wind kicking up from nowhere. Then there was the loud grinding sound that grew louder and louder. From out of nowhere, a shape appeared that slowly materialized into a large blue wooden box. It settled in, allowing her to see the windows on the side and the sign saying POLICE CALL BOX.
It took a moment for the door to open and the occupant to step out. She wore blue pants that were hiked so high on her waist that her ankles could be seen. She wore a dark shirt marked with a rainbow pattern and bright suspenders connected to the pants. A long grey coat flowed around her. Her light blonde hair was cut short to frame a rather attractive face that looked like it smiled quite a lot. She wasn't doing here as she fixed her eyes on the other figure. "You."
The other woman looked the newcomer up and down before letting out a loud laugh. "Oh, really, Doctor. Even when you finally decide to copy me on gender, you need to have the worse dress sense imaginable."
"It's not like it's a choice for me," the blonde-haired woman snapped. "At least I wasn't a flashy-glow skeleton."
"Hmmm," Missy shrugged as she took another sip of her tea. "What, no shock at my being alive?'
"I gave up figuring out how you do it ages ago," the Doctor said with a wave of her hand. She took in the large chamber she had landed in. It appeared to be some sort of lab, long deserted with one wall made up of a huge chalkboard and various empty tables and shelves about. Her eyes fell on a figure lying in a corner. She stepped forward to see a skeleton clad in a bright gold and blue costume with a star at its chest. A yellow visor was settled onto its head. At its side, like a pet by its master, was a golden device that resembled a football of sorts.
The Doctor craned her head to face Missy, her face somber. "Was this you?'
Missy shook her head. "No, he was like that when I got here." She sipped her tea and rolled her eyes at the Doctor's expression. "Really, Doctor, you know I'm not the devil."
"Not for lack of trying," the Doctor muttered. She looked to Missy. "So what's the point of that summons? I know it can't be just to take in my new look."
"To talk. On what happened recently." Missy sat back in her chair, picking up her umbrella to lean on. "You felt it, Doctor. You saw what happened and you felt the effects across time and space."
The Doctor nodded. "I did. Is that how you came back?"
"No, that was more complex," Missy replied. "But in the restoration…I felt something shift, Doctor. Something altered in time itself. I'm sure you did too."
The Doctor paused. She didn't want to talk about what she felt. No matter the changes, the fact was Missy was still the Master at heart and despite their long friendship, the Doctor wasn't comfortable sharing today. Missy saw her discomfort and sighed. "Oh, come, Doctor. We've never been able to have girl talk before, enjoy the experience!"
"Listen, I showed up just to make sure it was really you and not a trap."
"If it was a trap, you'd have walked right into it."
"Admittedly, I hadn't thought quite that far ahead."
Missy tapped her umbrella on the ground. "Something is coming, Doctor. Knowing you, you would inevitably try to bungle into it. I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't."
"Right," the Doctor drawled. "Because you have my best interests at hearts."
"No, because you have a tendency to make situations even worse. What's coming may seem chaotic, Doctor but there's a plan to it. Mar one part and it all comes crashing down."
"Of the two of us, you have the history of creating massive chaos just for the hell of it."
"Very true," Missy allowed. "But I know the limits, Doctor. And what is coming is beyond anyone, even me, to try and stop. You couldn't."
The Doctor frowned. "You've always been the arrogant type but this is pushing it for you. You make it sound like it's set in stone. We both know time doesn't work that way."
"It does here," Missy responded. "I know what's coming, Doctor. More than anyone. Thanks to our late friend here and his travels. I highly suspect that those are the reason for his present state, that he looked at something he wasn't supposed to and it cost him." She nodded to the large chalkboard on the side of the room. "See for yourself."
The Doctor frowned as she slowly stepped forward. She saw the scrawling along the board, the writing clear yet somehow carrying a frantic energy to each line. They flowed, one sentence into another and seemed to be random. But the closer she looked, the more the Doctor could see a pattern to it all.
Who is watching?
The War in the Heavens
Doom will have his Day
Injustice For All
Cobra Rises when Cybertron Falls
The Grid will be Shattered
He Will Laugh Last
Atlantis Can Have Only One King
Who. Is watching?
The Great Darkness
The Demon has more than one Head
Invasions, Secret and not
Magic Under Siege
Paradise No More
Flight of the Phoenix
Who. Is. Watching?
His Herald Arrives
The Future is Metal
Stone Comes Alive
Only One can Master their Universe
The Dragon will engage in Kombat
Days of Future Enter the Past
The Web Will Grow
Who. Is. Watching?
Justice Like Lightning
Hell On Earth
The Ghost Walks Again
The Great Hunt is On
Whose Will be Done?
The Doctor turned her head to focus on Missy. "You believe all this?"
She nodded. "I do, Doctor. I very much do. All this and even more." Missy rose to her feet, facing the Doctor. Her eyes, usually glimmering with madness, were somber and serious which certainly caused the Doctor to worry. "I may be mad, Doctor…But I know some forces are never ever to be trifled with. Don't trifle with these, Doctor. Or it won't be just you that pays the price."
The Doctor shook her head. "I won't accept this. If I see something bad about to happen, I'll do my best to stop it."
Missy smiled almost sadly. "I know you will, Doctor. But just remember…We may be Time Lords…but even we can't stop destiny."
She threw out her hand, flicking something out of her fingers. It was a small disc-shaped object which the Doctor caught. She glanced at it, then up to see that Missy had vanished without a trace.
The Doctor looked down at the disc in her hands and took in its design. A bright yellow button marked with a smiling face and a dash of red liquid on the side.
She looked back at the final note scrawled on the blackboard.
WHO. IS. WATCHING?
It had been a very, very long time since the Doctor felt both her hearts as chilled as they were in the silent chamber with the blue and gold costumed corpse her only companion.
For those wondering if I had a plan or just making it up as I go…a slight answer. And a taste of the future.